After accessing how customer management changed in the post-pandemic world, we decided to peek over the landscape for retail.
Since online shopping has become the dynamic force that helped us steer through the recent crisis, it is evident that the sector went through drastic evolution over the past few months. According to the US Census Bureau report, retail sales reached $1.58 trillion in the first quarter of 2021. Furthermore, as per the forecast by the National Retail Federation, retail sales will exceed $4.44 trillion in 2021.
Brick-mortar stores have adopted digital elements to present online experience to its customers and those who were already online continue to prove that you are not missing much from the in-person experience. Thanks to the retail call center for reading the pulse of the modern-day customers, analyzing changed consumer shopping behavior post-pandemic, and understanding how successful retail brands deliver customer experience in 2021.
The increased expectation on retail contact centers was apparent looking at the trends. In addition, the surge in online shopping, more flexible delivery options and faster returns, and eCommerce customer services to cater to impatient customers are some of the crossword clues that a contact center has to keep in mind while finding its way through the puzzle.
At Fusion, we believe the retail call center will play a great role in dancing to the beats of the new trends that we will discover right below in this blog.
Here are the top retail call center trends to follow in 2021 and beyond.
Voice customer service strikes back
For the last few years, it has felt like technology is going to overtake the voice channel. However, the lockdown illustrated just how essential voice channels are – not just for customer service but also for telemarketing and sales.
The increased call for the return of voice is expected as empathy led the customer communication for retail businesses. In an era where isolation has become the regular norm, and the digital world has overtaken social lives, humans will look for human connections. Its need no rocket scientist to tell that, just common human behavior. So, as responsible call center providers, we have to inculcate tools and technology to support the voice channel for retail along with live chat support services and other digital channels.
Complicated requests and longer resolution time
While this sounds more like a pain point than a retail call center trend, we are just about to discover the series of connected trends originating from this recurring problem.
Most retail stores that facilitate online shopping provide self-service options to customers. They can browse, create a wishlist, add to cart, pay, and even choose delivery time using the website or app. So, what is left for Ecommerce customer services agents? The most challenging and time-consuming queries. Hence, the resolution time also increases. Thus, the resolution time also increases.
In order to solve this, retail contact centers start using fast, accurate live chat support services and flexible management systems. There will be more need to automate repetitive stages, categorize tickets for seamlessness, and use canned actions for frequent responses. A proficient back-end support services provider can help retail businesses bring down the average handling time and help them deliver a better customer experience.
Fusion is equipped with the right technology and skillset by which it can bring down the average request handling time and mean ticket resolution time while increasing customer satisfaction.
An increasing number of new customers
eCommerce shops and online shopping portals are experiencing an influx of new registration and customers each day. The reason is apparent- more and more retailers are turning to online platforms. So, to convert new customers into loyal customers, you need to engage them continuously, at a consistent level. Engaging customers at a higher level becomes a breeze with Ecommerce customer services outsourcing.
What’s online should be offline and vice versa – Omnichannel
Again, this is clubbing several different retail call center trends, including Artificial Intelligence, RPA, loT, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality. Fusing these technologies is helping retail stores to add the convenience of online shopping and helping contact centers to imitate the opulently interactive environment of offline shopping to the eCommerce world through impeccable Ecommerce customer services.
While the usual trend has been offline retailers moving to online, lately, the emphasis on local business and hyper-local marketing has made eCommerce companies develop a brick-and-mortar presence. Amazon’s cashier-less stores in the US, Walmart’s initiative to allow customers to pay in-store and have their order delivered to homes are iconic examples of this trend.
Retail call center continue to support the latest retail trend with high quality Ecommerce customer services with the help of top quality retail software.
New delivery options require more incredible customer support
Curbside pickup and delivery, take-away in-store and contactless shopping experiences are on the rise. Buyers are getting accustomed to these new delivery choices and expect retail and eCommerce companies to continue providing these options in the future.
The Ecommerce customer services team needs to work closely with the logistics department and the customers to facilitate the options in a seamless manner. An increase in customers enquiries about Tier 1 queries that comprise order processing and status updates will be one of the future trends in the coming months.
Retail call center can do the heavy lifting and bring elasticity
Trends come and go. What’s more important is remaining flexible and being prepared to face the most unpredicted and unwelcoming trends. A retail call center like Fusion can enable retail businesses to stretch up and down without adding overhead expenses, staffing more agents, or having to invest in top-notch forecasting and scheduling software. This means no matter what the trend is, your retail business will always be up and running.